Dell Cranks Up Low-End PowerEdge Servers

Dell's PowerEdge server aims to rev the low end with advanced features.

Dell Inc. is rolling out two single-processor servers designed to give small-business and corporate workgroup customers advanced features—such as more powerful chips and remote management capabilities—that until now could be found only in more expensive two-processor boxes.

Such customers have been trying to cobble together an IT infrastructure through peer-to-peer environments using desktops, or they have been shelling out extra cash for larger, more expensive two-way systems, according to Dell officials in Round Rock, Texas.

Dell this week will make available the PowerEdge 750, a 1U (1.75-inch) rack server that will replace the PowerEdge 650, and the PowerEdge 700, the companys first one-processor tower server. Both come with Intel Corp.s Pentium 4 chips, which run at up to 3.2GHz, have 1MB of cache and an 800MHz front-side bus, and support up to 4GB of memory. Both can also come with Intels Celeron chip.

The systems ship with various versions of Windows or Linux preinstalled. The 750 is priced starting at $949; the 700 starts at $699.

MedCost Recovery Systems Inc. runs a number of Dell server and storage systems, including the PowerEdge 650, for such jobs as file sharing and domain controlling. Chip Burke, network engineer for the Columbus, Ohio, data mining company, said the new servers offer a good combination of price and performance that enables users to run them without worrying about the cost.

"Price always comes into play, but you dont want to go so cheap and inexpensive that the machines arent reliable," Burke said. "[The Dell systems] work. They plug them in, install them and off they go. I havent had any problems with them."

Dell is not ignoring its high-end customers. The company last week said it was offering InfiniBand connectivity in its high-performance computing cluster configurations via a partnership with Topspin Communications Inc. Dell will offer Topspin InfiniBand switches with its cluster configurations, which bundle hardware, software and services in configurations of eight to 128 nodes. The 24- and 64-node configurations will be equipped with InfiniBand, although the company can include the interconnect technology with other configurations if requested. Later this year, Dell will add the switches to configurations for Oracle Corp.s 10g platform, officials said.